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Neste looks to convert its Porvoo refinery to a renewable and circular site

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In a bid to end crude refining by 2030, Neste is hoping to make its Porvoo oil refinery a refinery for renewable feedstocks. 

  • Neste has launched a strategic study into how to transition refinery in Porvoo with a target of ending crude refining by 2030.
  • Neste’s study will explore how refineries can be adapted to recycling raw materials and waste products.
  • Neste’s work could provide a template for the effective transition of fossil fuel refining.

Neste’s ultimate aim is to replace crude oil refining entirely with alternative feedstocks. The study will investigate how this can be achieved. Initially co-processing will take place and units will be modified, leading up to a discontinuation of crude oil refining in Porvoo in the mid-2030s.

Retrofits of existing units at a later stage are earmarked for a long-term capacity potential of 2 to 4 million tonnes per year, refining alternative feedstocks. Green hydrogen potential is being studied but not exclusively. The Porvoo refinery could well handle multiple feedstocks as the approach is modular and flexible. Neste is introducing renewable and recycled raw materials such as liquefied waste plastic as refinery raw materials. 

The company said in a statement “These developments would significantly contribute to the realization of Neste’s climate commitments, and make Neste a global frontrunner in the transformation of the fossil fuel industry.”

Matti Lehmus, President and CEO of Neste said “The Porvoo site provides a flexible and large-scale base that can grow into a major site for our renewables and circular business,” 

Neste’s business covers waste, plastics, chemical recycling

Neste (HE:NESTE) has a track record in innovative circular solutions. Its core business is in developing renewable feedstocks, from waste, residues and innovative raw materials. As well as manufacturing sustainable feedstock for plastics and other materials it produces renewable diesel and is the world’s leading producer of sustainable aviation fuel. It is consistently in the Global 100 list of the world’s most sustainable companies.

Also today, the 21st September, Neste announced a collaboration making a product line of dummies (baby soothers) composed of  a renewably-sourced polypropylene from the Bornewables portfolio of circular polyolefin. This is manufactured from renewable raw materials produced by Neste.

Neste’s target is for at least 20 million tons to be processed in a renewable and circular way annually by 2030. Its ambition is to make the Porvoo oil refinery in Finland the most sustainable refinery in Europe by 2030. 

Potential role for refineries in plastic recycling 

Also in Finland, a thermal conversion technology to convert plastic waste into virgin grade plastic in a steam cracker, a refinery petrochemical process, was recently commercialised. Olefy Technologies would give steam crackers a new product market.

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